One of our community heroes and team leaders has reflected on how much her home and work life has changed as a result of Covid-19.
Anouska Peach works at our Smalley Drive Food Store in Oakwood, Derby, at the same time as looking after three young children.
At work, she said it had been a challenge but they have strived to keep some normality.
She said: “It’s been an extremely long year already. We have all been affected with everyday, normal life being turned upside down and having to manage something we've never had to deal with before.”
Anouska added that in the run up to the lockdown, the team had to move quickly from everything being calm at work to a sudden spike in panic buying. She revealed that those first few weeks really affected the team – they were naturally tired but had to try to keep things as normal as possible.
Despite the professional and emotional challenges, as Team Leader, Anouska is clearly proud of what colleagues at Oakwood have coped with over the last couple of months. After the panic buying had calmed down, the rules regarding social distancing were introduced.
She said “It’s something we've never had to deal with, but yet again we faced the challenge and we've done it. It's second nature now, policing how many customers and staff are in store at any one time. We are used to ‘dodging’ customers and them us. We are used to face masks and gloves now.”
At home, Anouska’s life has changed too. She is a busy mum to three primary-school-aged children. She reflected on the positives and negatives for her family during lockdown.
She said: “Life has slowed down a bit more. There have been some nice times too. We have more dinners as a family around the table, more laughter because you want to keep everyone happy, more time spent with the children - bedtime stories, silly games and craft time – more family phone calls and video calls.
“Yes, we are missing our mums, dads, brothers, sisters etc. like crazy, but I would rather wait that little bit longer.”
Anouska also reflected on what will no doubt become known as 2020 hindsight.
She added: “If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s how kind people are. It's shown us how we can unite as a country and most of all who in our lives are most important.
“Your nurse, your doctor, all others in the NHS, your care staff, your farmers, refuse collectors, postal workers, teachers, factory staff, delivery staff, retail staff, police, firefighters, army and all other key workers are the ones that matter.”